Now Facebook Messenger also comes with filters, 3D masks on Android, iOS. Sure this is a copy of Snapchat Lenses, but Messenger has a bigger usage base at 1 billion monthly active users. Messenger’s camera app also comes with other tweaks, which will let users to express their mood with pictures or videos by adding texts, filters on them. We explain how to use the revamped Facebook Messenger.
So what’s new?
If you’ll notice, the camera button is now in the centre of the home tab on Messenger. The camera is represented by a blue ring, which appears on the Homepage of the app, at the bottom tab, and is placed right in the centre. The prominence given to the camera symbol means it is hard to miss.
To get started, tap on the camera and it will take you to Messenger’s redesigned camera interface. If you’ve not given Messenger permission to access camera, microphone, you’ll need to do so on Android and iOS, in order for it to start recording, etc.
When you have the camera open, you can either choose to click pictures, record a video or open an existing picture from your gallery.
To choose an existing picture from the gallery, just tap on the little picture symbol at the bottom left corner. Then picture the you want edited in Messenger.
There’s a palette icon at the bottom right, which opens a blank canvas (all blue background) where you can add text, filters etc first and then click a picture or record your video. Users can also just swipe left from the main camera app, and this blank blue canvas opens up as well.
There’s a strip of functions at the top of camera app now. The cross icon lets you go back to Messenger for plain text messaging, while next to it is the flash icon. The smiley icon takes you to Messenger’s library of stickers. The ‘Aa’ symbol lets you add text to a picture and there’s a colour palette icon at the top right.
How to take a picture
You can take a picture using the rear as well as front camera. Filters, 3D masks can be added after clicking a picture or before you start recording. Just tap on the smiley icon to choose from an array of masks. There are various libraries such as Featured, Dress up, Decorate and Express yourself. There’s ‘I’m feeling’ library as well that gives you options like ‘Feeling amused’, ‘down in the dumps’, sending hugs’ etc filters. Similarly, you’ll find a ‘I’m doing’, ‘Who’s up for’ and ‘Everyday fun’ library as well.
Next, select the filter you want to use and it will appear superimposed on your camera app. To make the sticker bigger, you can pinch and pull at it. If you want to get rid of sticker, just long press on it and the trash symbol should appear at the top. Drag the stick there and it will be gone.
Text can be added by tapping on the ‘Aa’ icon. As soon as you click to add text, a colour palette appears on the right side, that lets you pick the desired colour to your text. Just tap ‘Done’ on the keyboard once you’ve written what you want to, and it will be superimposed on the camera app. You can drag text to decide where to place it in your picture or video. Pinch and pull to make the text smaller or bigger. Again you can long press on the text, and drag it to the trash symbol if you want to delete it.
Once you’ve picked the filter, just point at the subject and shoot. You’ll find the ‘Save’ option at the bottom left; this is a down arrow. The picture gets saved to your smartphone’s camera gallery. The right arrow icon on the bottom right will let you share the picture with your friends on Messenger.
To shoot videos, press and hold the camera icon. You’ll have to keep the camera icon pressed in order to record the video. Messenger allows you to shoot videos for up to 10 seconds, again just like Snapchat, although these videos don’t disappear after 24 hours. Again you can add filters before you shoot the video or do that after you’re done recording.
Once done with editing your video, you’ll see the arrow at the bottom right to share. Tap on that, and then you can send the video to your friend or other groups on Messenger. Or you can save the video to your camera roll.
Facebook says it has worked with artists and influencers all over the world to add these little customisation tools in Messenger. Messenger’s UI is a lot more simpler than Snapchat though, filters take a bit of a time to load depending on your internet connection.